View Full Version : Comet 2P/Encke Observed, 2003/10/25 UT

Dave Mitsky
2003-Oct-26, 03:05 AM
On Friday night two fellow ASH members, a fellow DVAA member, and I successfully observed the periodic comet 2P/Encke through a 14.5" Starmaster SkyTracker Dob from a dark site in western Perry County, Pennsylvania. This comet was one of the dimmest that I've ever seen and it was only through Tony Donnangelo's painstaking efforts that we were able to view it. It was not even visible until it was close to the zenith and certainly was not nearly as bright as the 11.6 magnitude figure predicted by the IAU ephemeris. From what I've gathered on various astronomy forums this comet has a very large, gaseous outer coma and a very faint inner coma which makes it an easier binocular target than a telescopic target.

We also observed Comets LINEAR T7 and LINEAR-NEAT HT50, LINEAR T7 being the easiest of the three to detect.

Three asteroids (29 Amphitrite, 532 Herculina, and 674 Rachele) and a multitude of deep-sky objects, including B33 (the Horsehead Nebula) and some great galaxy clusters in Pisces, were seen as well. Muted pinks were evident in the wings of M42 and blue and green hues near the Trapezium through John's 16" Meade Newtonian. A great deal of detail was present in the North America Nebula and the elusive Pelican Nebula was visible through my filtered 101mm Tele Vue refractor as were the Rosette Nebula and the California Nebula.

Dave Mitsky